Animal Cruelty cases make headlines around the world every day, whether it’s the person who kills the neighbor’s cat, the hoarder of sick and dying animals or the family whose freezing, starving dog is tied up outside in the middle of the winter. These cases of Cruelty cannot be overlooked as it has proven to have severe implications ranging from the fact that it is linked to other crimes, to the factual truth that these practices inflict great pain on these animals that have nobody to speak for them. Combating this menace of Animal Cruelty is a journey that must be undertaken and everybody including the government, NGOs and even culture has a major role to play in this.
The types of animal cruelty recognized across the globe today are as follows:
Simple Neglect: This involves failure to provide adequate food, shelter, water, or veterinary care to one or few animals, usually due to ignorance. This form of animal cruelty is the most common around the world today. The most common example of simple neglect found everywhere today is the case of dog owners chaining their dogs around the neck without a dog belt and most times the dog is kept stagnant at the backyard for hours if not days without proper shelter.
Gross Neglect: It can also be called willful, malicious or cruel neglect. It is important to make a distinction between simply failing to take adequate care of animals and intentionally and knowingly withholding food or water needed to prevent dehydration or starvation. Gross neglect is therefore the intentional act of withholding food or water from an animal or group of animals. A typical example of this type of cruelty is the case of people throwing away their sick dogs callously, some leaving their dogs out in the cold or rain.
Intentional Abuse: Cases of intentional cruelty are the ones of greatest concern to the general public and the ones more likely to involve juvenile offenders. There is legitimate fear that the individuals involved in violent acts against animals present a danger to the public. Intentional animal abuse is often seen in association with other serious crimes including drug offenses, gang activity, weapons violations, sexual assault and domestic violence and can be one of the most visible parts of an entire history of aggressive or antisocial behavior. Such cases are often easier to prosecute than neglect or hoarding cases since the effects of the crime on the victim may be easier to document and the intentionality of the offense is more clearly recognized.
Organized Abuse: Dog fighting and Cockfighting: “Blood sports” such as dog fighting and cockfighting have been singled out for special attention in the anti-cruelty laws of the United States and the United Kingdom since their inception in the 19th century. This act involves the setting of two or more dogs, cocks or any other animal in a fight circle and allowing them to brutally kill each other for the sole purpose of entertaining the spectators.
The government has a major role to play in combating cruelty to animals across the globe, ranging from the creation of laws against animal cruelty to the proper implementation of those laws. In the United States, there is no federal animal cruelty law, while some federal laws like the Animal Welfare Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act or the Endangered Species Act restrict when or how certain animals in certain situations may be harmed or killed, these federal laws do not cover the more typical case, such as the person who intentionally kills the neighbor’s dog which is a major deficiency in that law.
Individuals such as you and I and members of the society at large have the most important role to play in combating this animal cruelty that has eaten deep into our society today. Individuals should not fail in reporting any case of cruelty, which they witness within their jurisdiction to enable the law enforcement agencies function properly.
Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) across the globe play a major role in informing the general public about animal cruelty and also the rescue of animals that are victims of cruelty. The role of culture and tradition in combating animal cruelty is a case that cannot be overlooked. More so traditional rulers should be used as a medium to impact anti-cruelty practices on their subjects. Animal cruelty is an issue that demands urgent attention. Proper studies, investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases will go a long way in securing our society today. It is therefore recommend that proper studies should be carried out on Animal cruelty cases around us, and governments of developing countries should review their animal cruelty laws and see to their proper implementation.